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Integration and Mobility as a Service: Google I/0 2019

Inspiration for smart ticketing and Mobility as a Service (MaaS) models comes from across the globe. Last week, our Executive Chairman, Steve Wakeland, travelled to San Francisco for Google I/O 2019. The annual developer conference is a fascinating insight into the work of the tech giant, with thousands of visitors across three days and more than a million people streaming I/O 2019 from their laptops and mobile devices.

It’s important at ITSO Ltd that we keep up to date with the latest technology trends - the next generation of mobile phones, voice-powered assistants and advances in artificial intelligence were all on the agenda at I/O 19, under the slogan ‘Innovation in the Open’.

But it was the topic of Integration that most caught our attention. Google has now implemented an API that enables a user to search for a journey in Google Maps and then buy tickets straight from a transport operator, all within the same app, providing there is integration with a digital payment service.

Last year we launched our smart ticketing technology ITSO on Mobile. We did so with Google Pay, enabling passengers initially on West Midlands Metro to plan their journey and then pay for and download an ITSO-compatible ticket on their mobile phone. Operated by ITSO Transit Hub Ltd and integrated with transport retail mobile applications and websites, ITSO on Mobile securely delivers purchased tickets, within seconds, directly to the Google Pay digital wallet on a passengers’ smartphone.

Smart ticketing is all about making journeys easier and faster for passengers and ensuring their peace of mind. We worked with Google Pay knowing that they were experts at unlocking and driving a much deeper customer experience. Google Pay announced last week that they can now also integrate with the Google Assistant and notifications service, providing additional benefits for passengers.  

As the UK looks to bring Mobility-as-a-Service into play, allowing passengers to travel seamlessly across multiple transport modes, there is still more to be done to join up the planning of journey routes with ticket payment and storage. At ITSO Ltd we want to continue to work with the world’s leading technology companies because collaboration and interconnectivity is key to the future of mobile ticketing.